German-Iranian trade will "kick off strongly" after sanctions lift

German industry is expecting a double-digit percentage increase in exports to Iran in 2016, with international sanctions over suspicions the country's disputed nuclear programme had bomb-making purposes set to be lifted in the coming weeks.

"Everyone is at the ready," said Volker Treier, chief economist at the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), pointing to the fact that sanctions could be lifted in February 2016 or earlier.

"We are hopeful that things will kick off strongly and that we can easily achieve double-digit export growth in 2016," Treier told dpa.

If sanctions were lifted in January, bilateral trade between Germany and Iran could double to 5 billion euros (5.4 billion euros) in the next three years and reach 10 billion euros over the next five to seven years, Treier said.

Bilateral trade stood at 2.69 billion euros in 2014. The DIHK has stated that the economic sanctions against Iran are hampering German economic growth and are hurting especially medium-sized firms which depend heavily on trade with Iran.

Iran agreed in July to drastically cut its uranium enrichment capacity, reduce its stock of enriched uranium and accept close international inspections, thus providing guarantees that its civilian nuclear programme cannot be used for nuclear weapons.

As part of the deal reached with the five United Nations veto powers - China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States - plus Germany, Tehran has begun dismantling thousands of centrifuges.

If all goes according to plan, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will confirm in early January that Iran has taken all steps to curb its nuclear programme.

Last update: Sun, 03/01/2016 - 12:48

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